Last weekend’s 66th Annual Tony Awards were a sweep for the musical version of the Broadway adaptation of the 2007 Academy Award-winning film Once. It’s not often a film is turned into a Broadway show; that street tends to run in the opposite direction. It was a groundbreaking night for another reason: actress Audra McDonald won her fifth Tony Award, this time for Best Actress in a Revival of a Musical for her work in Porgy and Bess, tying Angela Lansbury (age 86) and Julie Harris (age 87), who also has a Special Tony Lifetime Achievement Award from 2002. What makes this record all the more amazing? Audra McDonald is 41; she’s appeared in only 10 Broadway shows and won Tonys for HALF OF THEM; and she is the only black actress to ever win five Tony Awards (but again, only two other actresses have won five; wouldn’t it be absolutely wonderful to hope that at least this milieu is color blind?)
So, who looked amazing, who looked shocking, and who should be embarrassed? Let’s jump right in…
Audra McDonald looked beautifully understated in a one-shouldered ESosa gown (Porgy and Bess’s costume designer) in a gorgeous shade of electric blue. Just so you can drop this into casual conversation, Audra’s previous four Tony wins were for Raisin In The Sun, Master Class, and the musicals Ragtime and Carousel. With her hair down and flowing in soft waves, and minimal DeBeers jewels, she looks positively regal with the almost Grecian cut to her dress. Just as elegant and understated is her makeup, which lets the color of her dress carry the evening, and sticks to tones of cool grey and black for the eyes, and a cool silvery pink gloss on her lips.
To recreate the same eye makeup, choose Noche from ColorOn’s Eye Envy Smoky Variety Kit, but confine your application to the eyelid, crease and just onto the lower brow bone. Avoid applying the lightest shadows on the upper brow bone and below the eyebrow itself; instead, let your natural skin tone show above the deepest shade, blending well after you peel the applicator away. Then take an eyeliner brush and dip it into the remaining creamy mineral shadow left on the clear cover sheet, and line under the lower lashes from the inner corner to the outer corner of each eye, flicking up slightly at the very end.
Add black kohl to the waterlines of the upper and lower rims if you are comfortable wearing it and it doesn’t irritate your eyes. Apply two coats of black mascara to the top lashes, allowing the lashes to dry in between, and unless your bottom lashes are completely invisible, skip mascara on the lowers. Use BrowPro if necessary to fill and groom your brows to balance out such intense eye makeup. Audra’s makeup artist chose a cool orchid cream blush to highlight to tops of her cheekbones, which nicely carries through to her silvery pink lipgloss that allows the natural color of her lips to show through and give the shade some depth and sophistication.
Film actress Amanda Seyfried, who was part of the opening number with third-time host Neil Patrick Harris, is portraying Cosette in the Broadway-to-big-screen adaptation of Les Miserables (for which Anne Hathaway has received a tremendous amount of attention for shaving off her trademark chestnut mane and dropping an alarming amount of weight).
Amanda’s red carpet look was a straight-off-the-runway purple slip dress with gold embellished details by Givenchy, which we first assumed she or her misguided stylist ruined by cinching it with a hideously cheap-looking orange/red pleather belt, then adding insult to injury with a matching box clutch. Turns out we were mistaken. Gaze upon the original look from the Givenchy Fall 2012 runway. That heinous belt was part of the original styling!
Amanda’s a stunning girl, with those humongous blue/green eyes and masses of honey-colored hair. Had she dumped the belt, stuck with the original runway boots (we would have sported the gloves and choker as well, but we’re a bit off that way), worn her hair down, and let that crimson lip be her pop of shocking color, we think the look really could have worked. But no one is EVER going to get past that belt. Ever. Even Amanda looks as if she’s having second thoughts in every shot from the event.
With a lip this vibrant and strong, and an otherwise overwhelming color palette, at least her makeup artist did not make the mistake of choosing any eye drama other that multiple coats of black mascara to her lush young lashes. We detect a slight dusting of translucent powder with the tiniest bit of shimmer to give her a luminous glow whilst keeping Amanda from getting shiny under the stage lights, but that’s it (colorOn’s Setting Powder #2 would do the trick). Her brows are filled and groomed – Amanda’s a BrowPro Full Light – and the rest of her face perfected but otherwise also bare.
We’re sure someone will pop up within moments of reading this post to blast us for our less-than-perfect recall, but we cannot remember EVER seeing Sheryl Crow dressed like this. Sure, she’s worn a gown or two to the Grammys and the CMTs and other fancy award shows, but we cannot remember ever seeing her in something so …Hollywood as this Marchesa illusion gown she donned to present the Tony for Best Original Score (yes, technically she’s in New York, on Broadway, and it’s nicknamed “The Great White Way,” blah blah blah pedantic-cakes). Add the even more ladylike ‘do, and this is just not the Sheryl Crow who …”still gets stoned; I’m not the kind of girl you take home…”
She looks like she’s never worn a pair of leather jeans or snogged Eric Clapton or played the bass onstage in Central Park. Frankly, we don’t care for it much, but if we’re just scoring technical points, the dress’s drop waist compensates well for Crow’s athletic, short-waisted build and almost covers her prominent and bony décolleté while showing off her very toned, guitar-player arms.
And here comes the aside…
When you’ve just entered your sixth decade on the planet (or even your fifth, and with some, just wrapping up the fourth), a little body fat stops being the enemy and starts becoming your friend; otherwise, you get that overly drawn look that characterizes certain celebs who work out excessively, and/or have lipo’d all their body fat away, and now look as if they’re made from beef jerky, tendons, and leather, with weirdly collapsed belly buttons – but have lovely plumped faces and plump fake breasts. Big points to Sheryl for not going the implant route, IOHO. They would have gotten in the way of her guitar and bass playing, although CLC just slings her guitar low and pretends it’s because she’s all “one of the guys.” But not, because she also puts her foot up on the amp like the guys, but only while wearing a dress and no knickers. Such a paradox, that one, yet we love them both for their respective talents, as opposite as they may be.
ANYWAY. The navy sequins and skirt play well with Sheryl’s sunny blonde strands and California-girl coloring (yes, we know she’s from Missouri). Her makeup is, as always, very subtle yet expertly applied (something we’ve noted and admired since the record company made Sheryl over circa her second album in 1996, and some of it stuck). So, it’s a technical win. But Sheryl just doesn’t really look like Sheryl. This looks like Sheryl:
Back to the makeup. Other than a heavier-than-usual application of powder (a trend we noticed in going through the images from the Tonys; must be a stage thing?), this is where Sheryl looks most like herself – pinky nude lipstick with a matching lip liner, expertly applied bronzer, nicely groomed and filled brows, curled lashes and plenty of black mascara, and just a touch of golden/bronze shadow on the eyelids and below the lashes. You can get the same sunkissed look by starting with either ColorOn’s 14 Karat (subtle and golden) or Bronze Goddess (deeper bronze shimmer), both from the Metallics Variety Kit. Using flat-edged “push” brush or a pointed eyeshadow brush, dip it in the creamy mineral shadows left on the clear cover sheet, and line below the lower lashes. This will especially make blue or green eyes pop like Sheryl’s do. Make sure your bronzer and lippy are shimmer-free – no tan ever has sparkles, and shimmer on the eyes is plenty.
And since this was Sheryl’s first public appearance since announcing she’d been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor (after forgetting the lyrics to her own songs, which provoked some pretty unkind coverage for which some supposed “journalists” should be abjectly apologizing for lacking any pretense to objectivity, integrity, or journalistic ethics), we really feel like taking it all back and just saying, “If it makes you happy…”
Bernadette Peters, who was both a presenter and the recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award, wore a delicious royal purple Donna Karan strapless gown with a pleated detail across the top of sweetheart-shaped bodice, which then slithered down to a mermaid hemline and “tail,” making the most of the petite actress’s famous curves. Can you believe she’s 64?!? We have nothing more to say other than “Brava!”
She’s absolutely perfect, doesn’t look as if she’s had any major work done (Botox does NOT count when you’re 64 and looking like this, ladies), and is wearing minimal makeup – most of which is on her lips in the form of a glossy copper that matches her signature curls. She wears a major brow, which is nicely groomed and filled – Bernadette would be a BrowBro Full Light — but her makeup artist knows better than to load her up with a lot of eye makeup, so other than plenty of black mascara, all we can detect is a bit of nude shadow and perhaps a swipe of a metallic copper pencil below the lower lashes.
BTW, we learn the most amazing stuff researching these posts. When we needed to find out Bernadette’s age, we discovered that “Peters” is a stage name; her given last name is Lazarra but ethnic names were discouraged when she first started acting, and casting agents told her she didn’t look the least bit Italian anyway. Regardless, we’re hoping to look half as fine as she does when we’re 64…
Presenter and Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain wears a shockingly sheer Mario Schwab dress, Harry Winston jewels, and ultra-hot Giuseppe Zanotti silver peep-toe platforms. The Help and Madagascar 3 actress (Do we need to remind you which film nabbed her the Oscar nod? Didn’t think so…) will make her Broadway debut in The Heiress this fall. Jessica’s red carpet choices have been well-reviewed and generally fashion-forward without resorting to the usual “look at me NOW” fallbacks such as cutouts, plunging necklines, sky-high slits, strategically placed sequins, etc. – until the Tonys. She could have opted to line the dress, but instead chose to wear it as the designer sent it down the runway, with a barely there flesh-colored corset.
While the consensus is that this was just too much Jessica, our criticism isn’t that we can see a whole lotta’ the ladies – it’s that the dress is extraordinarily ill-fitting; this is not an off-the-rack situation! Wow, do you have any idea how many times we proofed this post before we even caught that one? It gets a pass for sneaking by so may times.
Jessica has a beautiful figure, yet the cut of the design nips in tightly at the waist that it gives her spillover above and below (in more colloquial slang, a muffin top and a pooch, respectively), which has absolutely no camouflage when the rest of the outfit is essentially composed of sheer white netting and a scattering of sequins. We find it hard to believe that Jessica suddenly put on that many pounds after being fitted for the dress; she just returned from Cannes and everything she wore there was exquisitely tailored (Gucci, Armani Prive, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen). So…
Aside from the epic fitting fail on the dress — really, we’re pretty neutral on the reveal – Jessica’s hair and makeup are gorgeous. She flirted for a week or two with a much brighter shade of red, then went running back to her more strawberry/copper tones, which we agree are more flattering with her flawless, peaches-and-cream complexion (truly, this is what the term was coined to describe). She just doesn’t need to be that flamboyant; part of what makes her so watchable is that the longer you look at her, the more gorgeous she gets.
So, training our eyes above the neckline, we have cascading waves of her stunningly beautiful and enviably healthy, thick hair framing her face. Jessica plays up her eyes, usually wearing barely there lipcolors in nudes, peaches and pinks, with the occasional foray into brights – but that’s the exception, not the rule. And with such a delicately constructed dress and a shocking amount of her own skin on display, anything more than washes of color would seem garish.
Her makeup artist once again did his or her best to tame Jessica’s very straight, almost downward-growing and sparse browns with auburn pencil and powder, but statement brows will never be a part of her look. To recreate the wash of colors comprising her eye makeup, you have two options. You could try ColorOn’s Swept Away from the Dreams Variety Kit, a beautiful and tranquil yet deeply sexy look with a wash of the palest turquoise shading along the browbone to a golden sand in the crease, onto the lid and inner corner, with a swoop of deep bittersweet sienna liner for a warmly sensual look. If cooler tones are what your coloring calls for, try Amethysts & White Gold from the Jewels Variety Kit, a beautifully icy, sophisticated look shading from shimmer pearl at the inner corner and below the brow to deep amethyst glimmering outward from the lid, into the crease and up onto the browbone toward the temple. The look is finished with a sweep of deep platinum liner.
Jessica adds two coats of black mascara to her upper lashes to further enhance the upper liner, using a single coat of brown mascara on the lower lashes for a bit of definition only. A pretty salmon/coral cream blush is blended into the apples of her cheeks for a healthy flush, and a satin lipstick in the same color family gives her lips a sophisticated finish – again, gloss would be garish and look cheap under the circumstances. By wearing such ladylike makeup and softly casual hair, the impact of the Mario Schwab dress is increased exponentially.
LAURA BELL BUNDY
Oh, the hideousness of this gown – there’s nothing royal about this purple! This is bourgie purple, cheap lipstick purple, 99-cent nail polish purple. We couldn’t find a single blog or website that named the designer; it’s likely been scrubbed out of abject embarrassment at the scathing reviews. This is the second time in two weeks we’ve seen Laura Bell Bundy show up at an awards ceremony in something we first assumed might be a sort of post-modern, tongue-in-cheek joke (Google her outfit at the 2012 CMT Music Awards from June 6) referencing her biggest claim to fame – playing Elle Woods in the Broadway adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon film Legally Blonde. In fact, we’ll just go ahead and quote the Goddesses of Snark over at Go Fug Yourself on this one:
“Jessica recently took Noted Kook Laura Bell Bundy here to task for dressing like she’s still playing Elle Woods on Broadway. To that (Heather) would like to add, ‘dressing like a Miss USA also-ran who is ten minutes from being disqualified for a past that’s not trashy enough.’”
So, we’ll skip the litany of wrongness that this dress is from bedazzled bodice to shiny taffeta train, and focus on Laura’s hair and makeup. We prefer her without the bangs; they’re a bit twee. Back in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, she looked much better with a low, messy side-chignon, and a quick skim through the gallery at ContactMusic.com proves us right about her looking better without bangs (and finding a killer colorist/stylist circa 2009), and that since that same time, her makeup has been pretty stellar. Regardless of the outfit, she figured out (or someone told her) what works for her: shimmery pastels that don’t overwhelm yet bring out her unusually colored, uptilted light blue/green eyes; a strong winged brow, perfectly groomed; a subtle cheek color, often a muted bronzer; and a nude/pinkish nude/plummy nude lip. Like Sheryl Crow, we deeply admire someone who plays to their strengths and doesn’t fall for every trend but instead opts to look their very best every time.
At the 66th Annual Tony Awards, Laura Bell Bundy looked beautiful from the neck up and from the bangs down. You can get a similar look by starting with ColorOn’s Finesse from the Eye Envy Rhapsody in Grey Variety Kit, a smoky sunset palette of delicate rose and plush grey that combine into beautiful tones of rosy amethyst with a smoky grey undertone at the lash line. Blend so that the most intense grey is closest to the upper lashes, and the rose and purple tones blend upward toward the browbone. Laura has very heavy lashes, and a couple of coats of black mascara eliminate the need for line below the lower lashes altogether. You can always use an eyeliner brush to apply some of the remaining creamy mineral shadows left on the cover film along the lower lash line of you prefer that look. Her brows are very groomed and lightly filled – Laura is a BrowBro Full Light, and in this instance, she’s used a a creamy plum blush on the apples of her cheeks for a touch of flushed color. The look is completed with a sheer plum gloss/balm – not too shiny, but sheerer than a lipstick.
All of the colors mentioned, as well as the BrowPro product, can be combined and purchased as a Custom Kit, or you can instead buy the Variety Kit in which they’re featured. Either way, same price. Need a tutorial? Watch the video on the website for application tips and tricks.
We’ll be back next week with the best looks from Canada’s Much Music Awards, The Young Hollywood Awards, and any interesting looks from the various summer movie premieres. In the meantime, have a bit of hot fun in the summertime…